My sister and I sailed into the harbor at Montego Bay because we had a powerful thirst. We had been several weeks out relieving His Spanish Majesty's galleons of their cargo as they was a mite too overloaded for safety's sake.
We anchored our ship, El Pollo del Mar, and proceeded with most of the crew to Mother Rackett's Monkey Bar. Of course, our friend Mother Rackett was glad to see us. She and her bevy of beauties were also glad to see our crew knowing that the gold and silver that jingled in their pouches would soon find its way into their own pockets. They were more than happy to relieve our crew of their heavy metal burden.
"Rum for all!" shouted Barracuda as we took ourselves off to Mother Rackett's best table. Then I, not to be outdone by my sister, demanded a full bottle of the good stuff! In moments our drinks were brought to our table by two of the most handsome, smooth-cheeked, likely-looking serving lads we had ever seen: a matched set. Yet again Mother Rackett had outdone herself! Her legendary hospitality knew no bounds. (She'd had to hide them in the cellar for two days to protect them from Anne Bonney, thus saving them for us.)
Halfway through the bottle, Mother Rackett came and joined us at our table signaling the serving boys to leave us in privacy. She had important news for us.
"I have heard scuttlebutt that a fleet of six ships laden with treasure bound for Spain will be leaving from Cartagena in five days." We readily agreed to the usual payment for her reliable information: one full portion of anything we "salvaged."
After drinking to our venture, Mother Rackett returned to business and our young lads returned to attend to our pleasure. They proved to be quick learners.
Late the next morning we called our crew together and told them we would be sailing with the evening tide. After their complaints had died down, we sent Gaston, the ship's cook, along with John True, the quartermaster, to reprovision our stores and powder chest. That evening, after plotting our course with the navigator, we lifted anchor and set sail in search of more riches.
We had just cleared the harbor when a hue and cry was raised from below decks.
John True appeared at the top of the ladder dragging forth two lads by the scruffs of their necks. It was none other than our handsome young serving boys from Mother Rackett's, Bill and Ted. Now, stowing away on a ship is a punishable offense and our crew expected us to mete out justice. Barracuda and I exchanged knowing looks! We ordered the headstrong young pups be restrained in my cabin to receive just punishment at our hands. And they did!!!!!
When all was said and done, we decided not to keelhaul the stowaways. My sister and I had need of new cabin boys. Good ones are so hard to find, and these boys were tireless and energetic workers. They seemed to be just what we were looking for.
Four days out from Jamaica the lookout called his alarm. I climbed the rigging alongside him and, following the line of his pointing arm, saw a ship standing off on the horizon. Her masts were barely visible, but we were gaining on her and soon we were able to make out her hull floating low in the water. In an hour she could be seen clearly from our deck. Another hour and we identified her as one of the treasure galleons we were seeking. Our ship closed the gap and we ran up the dreaded d'Morte colors: a smiling white skull in a red heart on a black field.
The treasure ship turned about. A puff of smoke appeared from her bow. Then we heard the cannon and a warning ball splashed in the water ahead of us.
"Hell and the Devil!" screamed Barracuda. "To the cannons, me lads! Then we'll give these belly-crawling wharf rats a taste of our steel!"
While my sister roused the men to the fight, I rounded the ship to, presenting our broadside. After several rounds from our cannon, the galleon was listing badly to port and taking on water. Then we swept alongside, and our grappling irons clanked across the gunwales.
Our sword-waving, pistol-firing, shrieking crew swarmed aboard. Barracuda shrieked the loudest and killed the most. The pigheaded, swaggering capitan was the last to fall under her sword. I boarded with the rest of the crew and we set about transferring the loot to the El Pollo del Mar. Barracuda and her men soon disarmed the survivors and lined them up along the rail.
"Shall I kill these scum, sister?" Barracuda turned and asked me as the prisoners soiled their drawers. I shrugged, "Why not?"
Suddenly the prisoners fell to their knees babbling and crying, "Madre de Dios! Por favor, have mercy, seņoritas!" These cowardly poltroons were no threat to us and besides, we could use their help carrying the gold and silver bars and coin. We also took the capitan's gold jewelry and found his personal brandy cache which we carried to our own cabins with alacrity.
It took us an hour or so to move the wealth from the ship onto our own vessel. Another treasure had been liberated from the stinking Spanish dogs! As we reboarded the El Pollo del Mar, the crew sent up a cheer.
"Huzzah for the Corsican Sisters!"
By Liese Maloy and Amy Weyand.
This story was originally published in No Quarter Given, and is copyrighted by the authors. It appears here by permission.